In January 2019, approximately 128 million people were employed on a full-time basis. Unfortunately, many of these individuals aren’t being compensated for overtime work. In the first part of this two-part article, a wage dispute lawyer in Tampa explained what the U.S. Department of Labor classifies as a “workweek” along with the basic requirements of overtime pay. In this section, we will discuss overtime pay exemptions.
It’s important to note that if your position isn’t classified as one of these exempt positions, you may be owed additional compensation from your employer.
Understanding Exemptions for Overtime
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that all employees be compensated according to the federal minimum wage or state minimum wage (if the amount is greater than the federal rate). For over 40 hours of work performed in a workweek, the employer owes the employee a time and one-half compensation for each additional hour. There are exemptions to this wage and hour law if the employee works as a “bona fide” executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, or computer employee and earns at least $455 per week.
Depending on the responsibilities of the employee’s position, the employee may qualify for overtime exemption if they work in one of the following positions defined by the FLSA:
Executive: For an exemption to exist for an executive employee, the employee must be “managing the enterprise” or managing a subdivision of the enterprise. This includes supervising or managing at least two full-time employees. An executive employee must have the authority to hire or terminate the employment of other employees. They must also be able to weigh-in on promotions and other changes to the employment status of other employees within the workplace.
Administrative: Similarly, an administrative employee must have job requirements related to “the management or general business operations of the employer” or of the customers of the business. Their job tasks must also involve utilizing independent judgment related to significant work-related topics.
Professional: The professional employee is broken up into two subcategories: the learned and creative professional.
- Learned professional: must perform tasks that require “advanced knowledge” and are intellectual in nature. They must have advanced knowledge in a field of science or learning that must be “customarily required by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction.”
- Creative professional: must work in a position that requires “invention, imagination, originality, or talent in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor.”
Computer: A computer employee is exempt from overtime if they work in one of the following positions:
- Computer Systems Analysis
- Software Engineer
- Systems Analysis Positions
- Design, Development, or Analysis of Computer Systems or Programs
Outside Sales: If the employee’s primary task is involved in sales and they regularly are engaged in work tasks away from the employer’s place of business, they may be exempt from overtime pay.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.